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Unformatted text preview: think of other ways you
might obtain useful evidence. Rote memorization alone is not a good way to
Being a good auditor sometimes requires imagination and innovation. For
example, a few years back an auditor was faced with ﬁguring out how to verify
a client’s assertion regarding the existence of inventory. The problem was that
the “inventory” consisted of thousands of head of cattle on a ranch covering dozens of square miles. There was no standard procedure manual for the auditor
to refer to—he simply had to ﬁgure out an effective and efﬁcient way to obtain
persuasive evidence that the cattle existed in the numbers asserted by the ranch’s
In the end, the auditor decided to charter a small airplane to ﬂy over the
ranch and take photos—one per ﬁfty square acres. The auditor was able to obtain
a count of the cattle from the photos. He also evaluated veterinary records to
see if the number of required annual vaccinations approximated the number of
cattle counted in the p...
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